Sowerby Bridge Masterplan

Please note that contributions to this engagement are now closed for evaluation and review.

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Sowerby Bridge and the surrounding area is being recognised at local and national levels as an exciting and precious environment that is worth preserving, enhancing and cherishing. Funding for infrastructure such as the transport network, and flood resilience is being directed towards Calderdale and we wish to ensure that funds and energies invested in Sowerby Bridge are effective in contributing to the spirit of this special place.

To this end, the Sowerby Bridge masterplan has been created by working closely with the community-led Town Development Board, and sets out, at a high level, the aspirations of the community for the heart of our town.

Good placemaking can boost tourism, contribute to a thriving community and sustainable economy, and help to deliver the public health agenda. We want our town centre to welcome tourists, delight locals, encourage businesses, and promote prevention of ill health rather than cure - through clean air, encouragement of exercise, and an atmosphere that promotes mental wellbeing.

Masterplan Aims:

The masterplan aims to help develop a Sowerby Bridge that is:

· Healthy - walkable and bikeable, with clean fresh air to breathe

· Attractive - a desirable place to live, work and visit, with distinctive character

· Sustainable - protecting and improving our spaces, with the future in mind

The master plan should be used to inform developers, planners, landowners and the public. It is intended to help ensure that interventions work together to achieve a coherent and liveable place for Sowerby Bridge residents to be proud of.

We want to know what you think!

The masterplan has been created by working closely with the Town Development Board, but we want to ensure that we have correctly captured the key considerations for you as local residents. To help you understand the schemes, a series of plans and designs can be found using the links to the right (or further down the page if you are using a mobile or tablet) or at Sowerby Bridge Library.

Online engagement:

This survey has now closed and the results are being analysed. Further information will be posted here when available.

Please note that contributions to this engagement are now closed for evaluation and review.

To be kept informed of updates, please subscribe to receive announcements by email.

Sowerby Bridge and the surrounding area is being recognised at local and national levels as an exciting and precious environment that is worth preserving, enhancing and cherishing. Funding for infrastructure such as the transport network, and flood resilience is being directed towards Calderdale and we wish to ensure that funds and energies invested in Sowerby Bridge are effective in contributing to the spirit of this special place.

To this end, the Sowerby Bridge masterplan has been created by working closely with the community-led Town Development Board, and sets out, at a high level, the aspirations of the community for the heart of our town.

Good placemaking can boost tourism, contribute to a thriving community and sustainable economy, and help to deliver the public health agenda. We want our town centre to welcome tourists, delight locals, encourage businesses, and promote prevention of ill health rather than cure - through clean air, encouragement of exercise, and an atmosphere that promotes mental wellbeing.

Masterplan Aims:

The masterplan aims to help develop a Sowerby Bridge that is:

· Healthy - walkable and bikeable, with clean fresh air to breathe

· Attractive - a desirable place to live, work and visit, with distinctive character

· Sustainable - protecting and improving our spaces, with the future in mind

The master plan should be used to inform developers, planners, landowners and the public. It is intended to help ensure that interventions work together to achieve a coherent and liveable place for Sowerby Bridge residents to be proud of.

We want to know what you think!

The masterplan has been created by working closely with the Town Development Board, but we want to ensure that we have correctly captured the key considerations for you as local residents. To help you understand the schemes, a series of plans and designs can be found using the links to the right (or further down the page if you are using a mobile or tablet) or at Sowerby Bridge Library.

Online engagement:

This survey has now closed and the results are being analysed. Further information will be posted here when available.

Do you have any questions for us? Ask them here!


Q&A

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  • Why is the format so cumbersome to use? I’m trying to read the proposals for each area then comment on them and it keeps going back to the first screen, why not put the proposals and comments for that particular area together. I worry that lots of people will get fed up and not bother.

    Caroline Sewell-Storey asked 11 months ago

    Please accept our apologies both for the delay in responding to your query and for any difficulties you experienced with responding to the survey.

    Although our survey software does allow images to appear alongside the questions, we are limited in terms of size and zooming ability. As some of the plans were quite detailed, we were concerned that uploading the images by this method would involve losing clarity and therefore we chose to host the plans on the main page of the website. Having said this, I do understand your concerns and I will ensure that this is considered for future projects.  

  • I think we do need a central green space for everyone to enjoy. We have parks around Sowerby Bridge but nothing in the middle. People might stay in Sowerby Bridge longer if they can access areas for free and spend their money in the shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.

    LisaH asked 11 months ago

    Thanks for your feedback. We agree that a central green space in Sowerby Bridge would have great benefits for the town however due to the volume of land and assets currently in the centre there isn’t a large space for us to do this. We have tried to propose green space where possible and will continue to include as much as possible throughout the detailed design phases of the masterplan proposals.

  • I've seen a plan to open to traffic the top end of Tower Hill, near St Paul's Methodist church. Is this part of the master plan or another plan? If another plan can you point me in the right direction please? Thanks

    sj asked 11 months ago

    This is part of the Corridor Improvement Programme (CIP) which we are looking at in more detail over the next year. The public engagement period for the CIP ended on the 28th September, however the plans are still available to view online https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/ccip

    There will be further public engagement on the CIP proposals when we have taken the schemes to detailed design stage. 

  • In principle I like the plan and its elements. I've thought regularly that Sowerby Bridge doesn't make enough of its water fronts. I appreciate the A58 is a main thoroughfare so rejuvenating areas away from the road can bring prosperity. There are 3 flat routes into Sowerby Bridge so these should be exploited in terms of trying to get people onto bicycles/foot rather than driving. Make Sowerby Bridge a place where people want to stop rather than just a place to drive through. Sowerby Bridge could be a great stop off point but at the moment it is too car centric. 1, Ryburn Valley - eg Ripponden, Triangle, Rishworth 2, Calder Valley West - eg Luddendenfoot, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden. 3, Calder Valley East - eg Copley, Salterhebble, Brighouse. I think this plan is good but there needs to be more focus on showing people how they can get across to social areas when coming in by bike or walking. For example show how it would be safe for a family to come in on bike from Luddendenfoot along the canal and get to the Leisure Centre; Station or Canal Basin. Thanks

    sj asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your comments. As we go through the detailed design phases we will take all comments and suggestions on board where possible.

  • Is the old Rishworth branch line/Ryburn Greenway part of the plan? Commuting by bike on the A58 is not for the faint hearted or children

    sbrighton63 asked 11 months ago

    No, unfortunately the Ryburn Valley Greenway is not part of the SB Masterplan but it is an aspiration of the Council to develop a Greenway along this corridor. We are currently developing a feasibility study for the Ryburn Valley Greenway.

  • Whilst any improvement is welcome, perhaps why not look at getting some capital investment from an upmarket supermarket chain or similar, with a view to knocking down the market, bath shop, William hills etc and opening up the whole of the frontage of wharf street, small pop up markets could still be utilised at the front with any buildings at the back? Also there seems to be a bit of an obsession with creating ‘open space’ there is plenty already in the area. Capital investment needs to be encouraged into the area for it to thrive, this Sowerby Bridge, not Hebden Bridge

    Jim asked 11 months ago

    We appreciate that the building which houses that row of shops is not very attractive. However, this building is in private ownership. To negotiate the land, purchase and demolish the building, and make good would be expensive. Whilst we may get a contribution from a large supermarket it is unlikely that they would fund this substantially. Also, there are businesses there and we have a duty to protect peoples livelihood. We would then be creating a very open space and a view of a car park. Interesting idea though and perhaps one for the longer term.

  • Can we get a new statue of Branwell Bronte? The old one blew over a few months ago.

    mark_rafferty418@hotmail.com asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, this is a little more complicated than it may sound. The statue is located in Luddendenfoot which is not in the scope of Sowerby Bridge developments. Additionally, we are unable to fund public art from the Corridor Improvement Programme or through the CityConnect2 programme which is upgrading the greenway.  

    Any public arts commission that would take into consideration this statue would be considered when developing the Calder Valley Greenway.

    Are you aware if the statue is damaged or if it could be put back into place...? Thanks for your help.

  • I'd like to see the same green access via cycleways etc..., but forcing people out of cars in an area as hilly as we have isn't the way IMHO so I'm baffled how removing 60+ spaces is going to improve anything. Local businesses would lose more custom surely? Ever since the swimming pool was relocated, central parking is increasingly a problem. In order to park for a train commute, you need park by 7:15. Unless you live in the valley, cycling back home is only fine for TdF athletes, but not for a commute in a suit. Out-of town, valley floor parking should be central to any plan, whether that's for cars, green or otherwise and any other modes of transport. There, got that off my chest :-)

    Steve asked 12 months ago

    A parking study has been conducted in Sowerby Bridge which has shown that the lowest number of empty spaces at any one time is fewer than the 76 spaces. The headline total at this conceptual stage for the Sowerby Bridge Masterplan proposals is 67 spaces lost overall in central Sowerby Bridge. One of the key drivers for the masterplan is a commitment to improving air quality in the town, which includes discouraging car use and encouraging more sustainable modes of transport. The parking study shows that there appears to be many short, walk-able journeys being made by car at present. There is also an intention to provide additional cycle parking in various places as well as an ‘Uber bus’. Removal of parking in some cases allows for tree planting, which will improve air quality, visual amenity, biodiversity and storm water capture. Overall the aim is to reduce the impacts of cars upon the town, whether passing through or parked. It has been demonstrated previously that improving the environment of a town has increased the footfall to that town and therefore increased footfall to local businesses. This is the desire for Sowerby Bridge.